#151 FIX BAYONETS! | The Battle Of Danny Boy | Brian Wood MC | Bought The T-Shirt Podcast

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Brian’s book ‘Double Crossed’ https://amzn.to/38cNQxQ Brian Wood MC, former Colour Sergeant, British Army. Brian Wood was awarded the Military Cross, one of Britain’s highest awards for gallantry in combat, by Her Majesty The Queen II, following his courageous leadership under enemy fire in Iraq. In the heat of a lethal close quarters battle, fighting outnumbered, he seized the initiative, taking a split-second decision to lead his men into the teeth of enemy fire in the first bayonet charge by British soldiers in 25 years.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and Brian

C – Brian, how are you brother?

B – Yeah I’m good thank you. Thanks for having me on, I appreciate it. We’ve been trying for a while now so it’s good to get on.

C – Yeah, we seem to be passing ships, like I am with a lot of my guests on social media. We’re out there doing our stuff, when we finally get together it’s all good huh?

B – Absolutely, absolutely.

C – I’m going to start by asking where do you get you drive from Brian. We’ll probably come on to talk about everything you’ve been through which is enough to tread down ten men, if not a hundred. You’re so busy all the time, you tend to get so much done, is there any philosophy we can learn from there.

B – Do you know what, I’m not the Oracle and I’ll never claim to be. I’m just driven by hard work…

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Kindle: https://amzn.to/3hdOdLl

Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

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How to Write a Memoir

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#95 Sunk In The Falklands | John Mew | HMS Coventry | Field Gun Crew | PTSD | Pen Y Fan

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John Mew was the PTI on HMS Coventry when the ship was sunk in the Falklands Conflict. John was also a Royal Navy filed gunner and commercial diver, but his toughest battle came after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2015.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and John

C – John, how are you shipmate?

J – Fine, how are you?

C – Yes all good here mate, I’m just delighted really that through a mutual acquaintance Frank King. I’ve already done a podcast with Frank which will be premiering soon. Frank put us in contact, he said I’ve got a guy that I’m working with who was sank on a ship in the Falklands and my radar went up immediately. As you know I was on an aircraft carrier for a year and you have to do all the training obviously in case you have to abandon ship. It’s kind of the thing that every sailor does not want to happen, especially the poor old skipper. So it’s absolutely delightful to speak to you John, thank you  very much…

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

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How to Write a Memoir

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#96 The Untold Story Of 45 Commando In The Falklands | Major Andy Shaw | Royal Marines | Kings Badgeman

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Andy served both in the ranks and as an officer from 1976 to 1996 in the Royal Marines. He passed out of training as the top recruit (King’s Badgeman, 98 Troop) and as the best Young Officer (Royal Marines Sword of Honour Young Officer Batch May 80) and was awarded a General Officer Commanding’s Commendation for his field work in Northern Ireland (40 Commando Royal Marines). At the height of the ground fighting in the 1982 Falklands islands conflict, he was a rifle troop commander in charge of 32 men, and was tasked with operating independently from his unit, 45 Commando Royal Marines, in no man’s land. During this phase, whilst conducting a fighting patrol to destroy some of the enemy’s fire support systems, he ambushed what he thought was an enemy force killing four men. It transpired that it was a friendly patrol from his own unit. This single event, coupled with five tours in Northern Ireland, changed his perception of himself and gradually life in general, and was the beginning of a long slide towards ultimate despair, and eventually contemplation of suicide. From 1982 until 1996 he managed to continue functioning in various command capacities within the Royal Marines, but at the same time was aware of a growing split between the rational external face and the lurking internal horror that was slowly engulfing his entire persona. Eventually his marriage collapsed and the loss of his family, two daughters, and all possessions, triggered off the reactions that are now known to be classical symptoms of PTSD. In 1989 the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was unknown to Andy and by 1996 he finally accepted that he had to leave the Corps and country he loved in order to deal with this overwhelming problem. He bought an old classic yacht and with his new wife, Cheralie, sailed off into the North Atlantic to re-discover himself. In the late summer of 1997 they discovered the beautiful sub-tropical Balearic island of Formentera and dropped anchor. It was here that Andy began the process of self-healing. On the 6th of September 2012, by invitation of the Commanding Officer, who was an old friend, Andy gave a two hour presentation to 45 Commando Royal Marines on his war and its effects. Not only did he manage this with no emotional fall-out, but that night he found himself listening to a number of serving officers who wanted to talk about their experiences and resultant emotional problems. Andy realised that this was the end of his 30-year battle with PTSD; and the beginning of a new career in mentoring those who are suffering today. Thus The Mountain Way was born.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and Andy

C – Andy, how are you brother?

A – Very pleasantly warm thank you very much!

C – Yes, in Ibiza.

A – Yes my home, I don’t like to say that, but I do say it too often. I suppose it could be called showing off but I’m not a party animal. You know I’ve only ever been in one of these nightclubs once and that was to blow up 5000 balloons. I was working for 10 Euros an hour then!

C – Yeah, they certainly have got some thumping nightclubs over there from what I remember, but from what I remember from my one trip to the Island is they’re blooming expensive…

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

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How to Write a Memoir

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#108 Simon Weston CBE | Falklands War | Welsh Guards | Resilience | Bought The T-Shirt Podcast

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Simon Weston CBE is a veteran of the British Army who is known for his charity work and recovery from severe burn injuries suffered during the Falklands War. On 8 June 1982 he was boarded with other members of his regiment on RFA Sir Galahad in Port Pleasant near Fitzroy, just off the Falkland Islands. It was hit and set on fire by the Argentine Skyhawk fighters during the Bluff Cove Air Attacks. His ship was carrying a huge amount of ordinance and thousands of gallons of diesel and petrol. Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 lost their lives. The Welsh Guards lost a total of 48 men and 97 wounded aboard the Sir Galahad. Simon survived with 46% burns, following which his face was barely recognisable.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and Simon

C – Simon, how are you brother?

S – I’m ok, bit stressed with some home improvements we’re having done. Other than that I’m tickety boo. I’ve got a lot of new projects waiting to start, but this damn virus is making everything so slow. It is what it is.

C – Do you have enough time for your family with all your commitments, because you are a very busy man.

S – Well it certainly was before the Covid thing. The thing is when I’m not working I’m spending time with my family and perhaps because people see me do a lot of work they think that’s all I do…

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Kindle: https://amzn.to/3hdOdLl

Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2AYH0hn

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2AUMkCI

How to Write a Memoir

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#118 Empire State Base Jump | Mike McCarthy | 565 RLD Para Sigs | Falklands | Bought The T-Shirt

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In 1986, following active service in the Falklands War, former 565 RLD parachute signaller Mike R.P. McCarthy launched an audacious plan to be the first person to base jump from the Empire State building.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and Mike

C – Mike, how are you brother?

M – Excellent, excellent Chris thank you, and thank you for having me on for the chat.

C – Wow, thank you for joining us. I always like a man with a bookcase behind him. Says a lot about you.

M – Lot of cook books!

C – Haha I thought you were going to say 1984, Brave New World and Wild Swans.

M –  They’re in the other room.

C – More importantly did you come tooled up (shows Micheal a primary colour water pistol!)

M – Yeah I did, I’ve got my NERF gun, when you’ve got a son in the house you have to be properly prepared. Like a leopard crawling around the house, clearing rooms. He interrogates me from time to time…

 

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Kindle: https://amzn.to/3hdOdLl

Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2AYH0hn

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How to Write a Memoir

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#127 SAS Captain | Mercenary | Political Prisoner | Simon Mann | Bought The T-Shirt Podcast

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Simon Mann is a British former Special Air Service (SAS) army officer and legendary condottiere (not mercenary as often wrongly labelled). Simon trained at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Scots Guards. On leaving the military, he co-founded the private military company, Executive Outcomes and co-founded Sandline International with fellow ex-Scots Guards Colonel Tim Spicer in 1996, operating mostly in Angola and Sierra Leone. On 7 March 2004, Mann is alleged to have led the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt. He was arrested by Zimbabwean police in Harare airport, along with 64 other private contractors – branded as ‘mercenaries’. Simon served three years of a four-year prison sentence in Zimbabwe and less than two years of a 34 years and four months sentence in Equatorial Guinea. Simon is now a much-sought-after public speaker and consultant.

Transcript snippet from podcast

Chris and Simon

C – Simon how are you Sir?

S – I’m good thanks.

C -You’re in Johannesburg aren’t you?

S – Yep, it’s lovely, normal, no lockdown, it’s lovely.

C – Yeah, wow, I was there when I took my trip to Mozambique, we obviously had to fly into South Africa. We stayed at a lodge in Joburg called Brown Sugar, do you know it?

S – No!

C – Well let me just say, one night in Johannesburg is like one night in Bangkok, just with less girls!…

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Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent Into Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland

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Kindle: https://amzn.to/3hdOdLl

Forty Nights: My Escape from Crystal Meth Hell

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2AYH0hn

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2AUMkCI

How to Write a Memoir

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The Alphabet of Vietnam by Jonathan Chamberlain

When men come back from war they bring the war back with them …

Having read two of Jonathan Chamberlain’s memoirs – King Hui about a Hong Kong playboy and Wordjazz for Stevie, a touching tribute to Jonathan’s late daughter who was born profoundly handicapped – I was really looking forward to reading ‘The Alphabet of Vietnam’ and seeing how Jonathan turns his hand to fiction. I was more than impressed. It is an exceptional piece of writing, well researched, one that explores the light and dark in every ‘man’s’ soul in a refreshingly unapologetic manner.

The story unfolds through a series of skillfully interwoven narratives: Two psychotic – or perhaps completely sane – Vietnam veterans who bring their sick war games home with them. A brother who comes to question all he believes in an attempt to do what is right. A return to modern-day Vietnam that explores US war crimes and the country’s rich history and culture through a series of cleverly though out vignettes.

‘And then there is love – and love is complicated …’

What a great book!

Chris Thrall is the author of Eating Smoke: One Man’s Descent into Drug Psychosis in Hong Kong’s Triad Heartland – a bestselling true story.

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